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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Nov 7, 2011 7:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1977: Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY

The overall show is debatable (there is some sloppy play amid all the energy) but I will maintain now and until Kingdom Come that the HALF STEP from this show is hands-down, by a country mile, and without any doubt the GREATEST the band ever played.

(No, Boston Garden 5/7 is NOT better. It is wonderful, but does not contain the exclamation point perfect-landings out of TWO monster jams that 11/6/77 does.)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 7, 2011 7:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1977: Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY

Hey GC--serious question for ya: amid the discussions of the latter 70s (my "time" with them; Bay Area shows only), and then SDH and I discussing "gems vs clunkers" (notion that this really picks up later in the lifetime of the DEAD, duh, of course), I keep coming back to my view, at the time, that a week run at Winterland was viewed as very consistent. EG, the Oct 78 run, or spring 77, and that I never thought a show was a "clunker". We would view shows as largely interchangeable, and thus it never mattered if you personally went to the first and last night, and friend X, went to two of the mid-week shows of a run, if you follow. At most you'd say "ah, but you missed song x that they hadn't played for six months" or some such.

You are perhaps most familiar with this time frame, and though I get one can discuss "best version of song X, poor version of song Y" for a show like you are doing for this one, BUT overall, would YOU agree that this "era" (77+/- 2 yrs) was largely a very consistent time for the DEAD?

Perhaps I was all wet at the time; so now, listening to songs repeatedly from shows of this span, do you agree with what I assume is the perceived wisdom that they were generally "on" night in and night out?

It's partially motivated by the folks noting that Eur72 Trunk shows are largely similar, largely all "on", and yet, I'd have said the same thing about the shows I went to 5 yrs later as well.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Nov 7, 2011 8:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1977: Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY

Hey Mr. tell,

Good question indeed and I would say you've hit the nail on the head for 1977 at least--and why it's my favorite single year of Dead--and that is b/c of its CONSISTENCY. You could use a run of shows like Winterland 6/7-9 as a great example, but why not the entire month of MAY? There is not a single show in that month that is not recommendable...all consistently excellent...and while you may not find remarkable differences in, say, a Scarlet>Fire from 5/4 to 5/8 to 5/25, all three are prime pairings.

I look at 1978 much differently, though. It seems to me the band was coming off this year of great consistency and asking themselves 'what do we now?', and finding the answer in trying to push the rock and roll envelope a little further. The 6/4/78 show is a good example--very raucous, high octane, and there are other shows throughout the year like that (Red Rocks in July), the DP release in Feb.--but I also start to see more mistakes and some sloppiness in some of the 1978 performances--as if they traded consistency for energy but lost some precision in the process. (The April run of shows may be an exception, but beyond that, some '78's are hit/miss).

I would also agree with 1972 having its place as a model of consistency. The more I hear shows from this year the more it reminds me of '77. It's just nearly impossible to find a "bad" show or an off night. The difference to me (and why '77 is still my #1 year) is that there is a greater breadth of material in '77 w/the Terrapin songs in addition to many of the faves from 1972--which have been largely improved upon (i.e. spin a Jack Straw from 10/29/77 and any one from '72 and tell me 10/29 doesn't blow it away--b/c they've expanded the jam section.)

Obviously you could make the counter argument that they cut down tunes from '72 --like the 30 minute PITB's) in exchange for sandwich PITB's in '77, but you're still getting some interesting jams of those songs in '77, while the first set material from '72 is now more complex and interesting.

Either way I would pick '72 and '77 as the most consistent years of great shows, and they are my 2 favorite years, not surprisingly.

Hope that answers your question--if I missed the point, do "tell." (sorry..I'm on a pun a day policy)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 7, 2011 9:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1977: Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY

Nope; spot on...and yeah, by 78 I was seeing them less and less, and defn so in 79-82 (only saw the Xmas--NYE shows those last few), and thus I may not have detected the shift then. Believe it or not, I was such a "blind fan" of epic proportions I didn't even notice the switch to Brent (well, okay...but didn't change my view of them).